The holiday season is upon us again and the kids are off school, and a question I sometimes get asked is whether children should be doing homework or revising during the Christmas break.
This is a topic that has been debated for so many years, and the simple answer is that there are pros and cons to children taking a time-out from learning while the school is closed.
Here are a few of the arguments in favour of student studies during the Christmas break:
- Studying while on holiday will keep your child’s brain active, giving them an edge when they return to school and helping them to pick up where they left off in their lessons.
- Holiday studies lessens knowledge loss. Research has shown that kids regress a little when they take long breaks from learning.
- Lighter, fun learning that you can enjoy together, such as reading a book, can provide quality time between parent and child.
On the flip side, there are several benefits to giving your child a rest from school books, including:
- Holidays are a great time to take a mental breather from school away from the pressures of homework deadlines and revising for tests.
- A break from schoolwork during time off allows more family time. During term time, kids are in their rooms and parents are busy with work and household chores, so this is a chance to carve out some hours of quality time together.
- Learning isn’t all about school work. Visit a museum or go on a nature walk. Holidays are a chance for children to broaden their minds in other ways.
So on balance, what would I advise?
I’m a big believer in giving kids different opportunities to learn and the holidays are an amazing chance for families to learn together. I’m also strongly in favour of putting our kids’ wellbeing first before anything, so the very last thing we should be doing is expecting them to spend Christmas in their rooms with their heads in school books for long periods of time.
If your child has mock exams in the New Year, they will want to spend some time on revision (at least an hour each day), but they also need to be mentally ready for a challenging few months ahead. If this is your situation as a parent, I would encourage your child to set aside a specific time in the day for revision and then at least as much time for rest and relaxation. If your child has mock exams in the new year, I would also advise that they get their revision out of the way in the morning so that they can enjoy the rest of their day with their family and friends.
In summary, holidays are a chance for family time, and this can include fun learning too. And if your child has mocks in the New Year, make sure they create some down time. The next five months for them will be heavy and intensive! Remember, it’s a marathon and not a race. Endurance is everything.
The team at Spark Academy and I wishing you a wonderful Christmas and New Year!
Step into your power,